F-1 International Students

Eligibility Requirements
At City of Hope, F-1 sponsorship is available to international students pursuing a Ph.D. program at City of Hope’s Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences. Student must maintain residence abroad whose one has no intention of abandoning.
 
How to Apply for an F-1 Visa
Once an international student is accepted into the Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences’ Ph.D. program, a Designated School Office (DSO) will prepare and send the Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status (Form I-20), among other documentation, to the student.  International students after receiving their documents can then apply for an F-1 visa at a U.S. Consulate/Embassy abroad using Form I-20 and other supporting documents, such as passport, resume, and proof of education, etc. Check the appropriate U.S. Embassy/Consulate website for details.
 
Once the F-1 visa is granted, the international student may enter the United States within 30 days of the Form I-20 start date.  Upon arrival, international student will present passport, F-1 visa, and Form I-20 to U.S. immigration and shall be admitted into the United States in F-1 status.
 
Maximum Period of Stay
There is no maximum period of stay in F-1 as long as Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant F-1 Student Status, is valid and international student is enrolled full time in the Ph.D. program at City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences.   At Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, an initial period of 5 years in F-1 will be given to all international students.  International students needing more time to complete their program must apply for a Form I-20 extension with International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO). Please contact us at [email protected] for additional questions on Form I-20 extension.
 
Spouses and Children of F-1
Spouse and/or child/ren of the F-1 international student may be admitted in the United States as F-2 dependents. F-2 spouse and/or child/ren are not permitted to engage in employment.
 
Optional Practical Training (OPT)/Curriculum Practical Training (CPT)
F-1 student may be eligible for employment authorization based on Optional Practical Training (OPT) for a period of one (1) year, post-completion of Ph.D. program. Student must submit an application with the U.S. immigration prior to completion of program.
 
Student should plan his/her OPT application approximately 4-5 months before completion of study.  IS hosts a workshop on how to apply for OPT once a year, every Winter.  F-1 student planning to apply for OPT is required to attend.  At the workshop, student will be given necessary forms and detailed information such as when to apply, how to apply, how to maintain, and how to extend OPT.  International students may also contact IS for individualized OPT Planning.
 
Currently, international students of City of Hope’s Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences are not eligible for Curriculum Practical Training (CPT).
 
Travel Reminder for F-1 and F-2
F-1 and F-2 planning a brief trip (no more than 5 months) outside the United States during Ph.D. program, must obtain a travel endorsement on Form I-20.  Contact IS at least one (1) week prior to the trip for the travel endorsement.  Each endorsement is valid for 1 year.  Failure to present a valid travel endorsement on I-20 may result in immigration complications.
 
Traveling aboard after student graduates and while on OPT is more complicated.  Travel endorsement is still required but will be valid for only 6 months.  Student should consult IS before making travel arrangement.  
 
Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences
As a prospective student who wants to learn about Irell & Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, please contact: [email protected].
 
For more information, please review the F-1 Handbook.